KINGS POINT, NY -- Morrie Yohai, creator of the Cheez Doodle, died at his home here on July 27. He was 90.
Yohai credited his colleagues at Old London Foods for helping him develop the cheese-powder-covered baked corn puff that made its debut in the late 1950s. They conceived the idea after finding a machine that could extrude cornmeal into a long tubular shape and tinkering with various coatings.
Old London Foods, originally King Kone, was founded in the Bronx by Yohai's father in the early 1920s. It first produced ice cream cones and later popcorn, cheese crackers, Melba Toast and other snacks.
Yohai served as a World War II marine pilot and took over his father's business in 1949. In 1965, he sold the snack food company to Borden Foods Corp., which incorporated Cheez Doodles into its Wise potato chip division.
The Cheez Doodle inventor became vice-president of Borden's snack food division, which made Drake's Cakes and Cracker Jack, among other products. Cheez Doodles remain one of the strongest brands marketed by Wise, which is no longer part of Borden.
Yohai left Borden when the company relocated to Columbus, OH. In his later years, he became an accomplished photographer, poet and professor.